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Born 1960, Los Angeles
Lives and works in L.A.


1997 Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME

Awards and Scholarships:

2011 City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Falstaff Award, Best Lighting Design, The RSC History Cycle, RSC, London
2007 Downtown Artist Grant
2006 The Durfee Foundation
2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Artists Fellowship in Architecture/Environmental Structures
1999 Graham Foundation for the Advancement of the Fine Arts
1999 Rome Prize in Design Arts
1998 New York Foundation for the Arts Artists Fellowship in Architecture/Environmental Structures
1997 Fellowship, Skowhegan Art Program

Solo Exhibitions:

2018 Sculpted Light, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
2016 light/WHITE, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Heather Carson, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2010 New Installation: Light Action: light/ALBERS, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Light Action: light/ALBERS, Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007 Light Action: light/CONCENTRIC, Phantom Galleries LA, Beverly Hills, CA

Group Exhibitions:

2015 Elemental | Seeing the Light, Sturt Haaga Gallery, Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge, CA
2014 light/LINES: Gold/Green, Black Cat Pop-up Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013 Size Really Does Matter, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013 In Direct Light, Nan Rae Gallery, Woodbury University, Burbank, CA
2011 COLA 2011 Individual Artist Fellowships Exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2011 Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
2011 Kiss the Band With Your Eyes, The Armory Show, Nyehaus, New York, NY
2010 12 Gauge: Rapid-Fire Study of Art in Los Angeles Today, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA
2009 High Strangeness, Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA
2008 Curtain Call Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, NY
2007 Downtown Artist Project Grant Winners, Dangerous Curve, L.A.
2007 Light Action: light/CONCENTRIC, Brewery Artwalk, L.A.
2006 Light Sensitive, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica
2005 Light Action: light/CUBED, Brewery Artwalk, L.A.
2003 FAAR OUT, 6 Months in Rome: Celebrating Design Fellows of The American Academy in Rome , The ADC Gallery, Nyc
1999 Hallowed Halls: A Hybrid Halloween, Tenement Museum, Nyc
1999 Annual Exhibition 1999 , American Academy in Rome, Italy
1998 Light Action: light/House, Smallwood, NY
1997 Light Action: Lightfall, The L. C. Bates Museum Hinckley, Maine
1997 Light Action: push/Pull, Skowhegan, Maine
1997 Light Action: Octagonal Plane, Skowhegan, Maine
1996 Light Action: stop/GO! (for Elizabeth Streb), permanent installation, nyc
1995 Action Occupation: Streb/Ringside, The Temporary Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

Public Art :

2012-2014 prequalified Art + Technology Artist Pool, Norman Y. Mineta International Airport, City of San José Public Art Program
2012-2013 prequalified public artist roster, Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, City of Seattle
2007-2013 light/RAILS, Vine Street Parking Garage - light installation commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA
2013 finalist University Avenue Tunnels, City of Palo Alto Public Art Commission
2013 finalist, NEA Arts A LOT Initiative, Arts Council for Long Beach
2011 commission from the Arts Council for Long Beach for a temporary Public Art Project Mobile Exhibit in downtown Long Beach, CA
2008 finalist, Playa Vista Library, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA
2007 selected for pre-qualified pool of artists, Bridge Improvement Program projects, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA
2007 finalist, Los Angeles Street and Main Street (101 Overcrossing) bridge project, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA

Public Collections:

Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO


Knight, Christopher "Art review: 'COLA 2011: Individual Artist Fellowship' at Municipal Art Gallery", Los Angeles Times, June 9th
Nys Dambrot, Shana "COLA 2011", online exhibition catalogue,, May
Barbour, David “Inside the Enigma: Heather Carson on Richard Foreman’s Idiot Savant”, Lighting and Sound America, December 2009
Barbour, David “Heather Carson opens Major Show at Ace Gallery Los Angeles”, Lighting and Sound America, October 2009
Wilder, Matthew "Critic's Picks",, April 2007
Citizen X, "Grant Winners Hurrah!: $30,000 awarded to downtown artists", Citizen L.A., May 2007
Barbour, David "One Design Approach for a One-Person Show", Lighting and Sound America, July 2004
Dorbian, Iris “Teaching an Endangered Art”, Stage Directions, October 2003
Barbour, David "Heather Carson to Head Lighting Program at Penn State", Entertainment Design, October 2002
Barbour, David "Centerline Q&A", Entertainment Design, October 2001
Barbour, David "A Space for Tragedy: LD Heather Carson explains her controversial approach to lighting opera" Lighting Dimensions, October 2001
Napolean, Davi "Three-Ring History Cycle: RSC's Henry VI Tetralogy Comes to Michigan", Entertainment Design, August 2001
Wasserstein, Wendy "Light Fantastic" Garden Design October 1999
Barbour, David "Forest of Night" Lighting Dimensions, September 1999
Barbour, David "Judgement Day" Lighting Dimensions April 1999
Orskov, Lise "Art Crash Symposiet", Lys ( Danish Lighting Magazine), November, Nr. 3 1998
Barbour, David "Heather Carson wins Rome Prize", Lighting Dimensions, April
Orskov, Lise "Art Crash Symposiet", Art Crash Journal No. 2
Brennan, Mary "Finally given a chance to shine", The Scottish Herald, February 25th 1997
Hogan, Jane "The speed of light", Lighting Dimensions
Falvey, Jennifer "Light of her Life", The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, September 21st
Adamson, Judy "Negrin puts his spin on Hoffmann's tales", The Northern Herald, Sydney, Sept. 19th
"Heather Carson dictar curso de illuminacion en altos de Chavon", Listen Diario, Santo Domingo, July
Pesta, Abigail "Intuition and Integrity: LD Heather Carson blazes her own trail through the worlds of Opera, Dance, and Theatre Lighting", Lighting Dimensions, November 1994
Pesta, Abigail "Don't Look Down", Lighting Dimensions, November 1993



Baltimore's Center Stage: CITIZEN RENO: Reno (Set & Lighting design) Director: Tina Landau

Buffalo Studio Arena: THE NORMAL HEART: Larry Kramer Director: Donald Driver

Cambridge Theatre Company, England: LONG DAYS JOURNEY INTO NIGHT: Eugene O'Neill Director: Laurence Boswell

Cameri Theatre, Israel: CAN'T CHOOSE: Hanoch Levine - Premiere Director Hanoch Levine

Citizen s Theatre, Glasgow: THE COUNTRY WIFE:Wycherley Director: Antony McDonald

Crossroads Theatre: THE LOVE SPACE DEMANDS: Ntozake Shange -Premier, Director: Talvin Wilks

Drama Dept.: THE DARK KALAMAZOO: Oni Faida Lampley, Director: Tom Prewitt

En Garde Arts, Nyc: TERMINAL BAR: Paul Selig, Director: Michael Engler

Foundry Theatre, Nyc: LIPSTICK TRACES Director Shawn Sides

Franklin Furnace, Nyc: 3 UNNATURAL ACTS: Dick Zigun, Director: Becky Harrison

Gate Theatre, London: ELIZABETH II, Director: David Fielding

Hartford Stage, CT:
WOYZECK: Buchner, Director: Richard Foreman
PEARLS FOR PIGS: Foreman, Director: Richard Foreman


The Kitchen, Nyc: JIMMY CARTER WAS A DEMOCRAT: Rinne Groff, Director: Michael Sexton

Lamb's Theatre Company, Nyc:
EPISODE 26: Howard Korder

Lyric Hammersmith, London: THE WASP FACTORY: Ian Banks (Premiere), Director: Malcolm Sutherland

McGinn/Cazale Theatre, Nyc:
THEY WROTE THAT?:Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann, Director: Richard Maltby, Jr.
THE TRICKY PART: Martin Moran, Director: Seth Barrish

Music Theatre Group: LOVE & SCIENCE: Richard Foreman, Director: Richard Foreman

New York Shakespeare Festival:
IDIOT SAVANT: Foreman, Director: Richard Foreman
VENUS: Suzan Lori-Parks, Director: Richard Foreman
YOU COULD BE HOME NOW: Ann Magnuson, Director: David Schweizer
IN THE JUNGLE OF CITIES: Brecht, Director: Anne Bogart
LARGO DESOLATO: Havel, Director: Richard Foreman

Ontological-Hysteric Theatre: Richard Foreman - writer, director,designer
LAVA - Performing Garage, Nyc

P.S. 122:
JIMMY CARTER WAS A DEMOCRAT: Rinne Groff, Director: Michael Sexton
GO, GO, GO, Director: Anne Bogart

Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon & West End, London):

8 PLAY HISTORY CYCLE (2008 Falstaff Award for Best Lighting Design):
HENRY VI, Part I, II & III, Director: Michael Boyd
RICHARD III, Director: Michael Boyd
RICHARD II, Director: Michael Boyd
HENRY IV Part I, Director: Michael Boyd
II, Director: Richard Twyman
HENRY V, Director: Michael Boyd

MEASURE FOR MEASURE, Director: Michael Boyd


South Street Theatre: IN THE BOOM BOOM ROOM: Rabe

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds UK: THE WASP FACTORY: Ian Banks, Director: Malcolm Sutherland

Yale Repertory Theatre: VENUS: Suzan Lori-Parks, Director: Richard Foreman


American Music Theatre Festival: CASINO PARADISE, (World Premiere, Director: David Alden

Australian Opera:
LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, Director: Francisco Negrin, (also televised for ABC)

Canadian Opera Company: NORMA:, Director: James Robinson

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, DON GIOVANNI, COSI FAN TUTTE: Directors: Christopher & David Alden

Choregies d Orange, France: AIDA:Verdi, Director: Charles Roubaud, (also televised for FR3)

Dallas Opera: JENUFA, Director: Francesca Zambello

Edinburgh Festival: VISITATIO SEPULCHRI & BUSQUEDA, World Premiere, Dir: Francisco Negrin

English National Opera:
INQUEST OF LOVE, World Premiere, Director: David Pountney
TURANDOT, Director:Christopher Alden

Geneva Opera:
IDOMENEO, (also televised for Swiss Television), Director: Christopher Alden
BILLY BUDD, Director: Francesca Zambello

Glimmerglass Opera: RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Director: Christopher Alden

Guild Hall, London: HEURE ESPAGNOLE/LA COLOMBE, Director: Francisco Negrin

Kennedy Center: ROMULUS HUNT: Carly Simon, Director: Francesca Zambello

Kentucky Opera: THE SOLDIER'S TALE: Stravinsky, Director: Christopher Alden

La Monnaie, Brussels: INQUEST OF LOVE, Director: David Pountney

Long Beach Opera:
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, Director: Andreas Mitisek
THREEPENNY OPERA, Director: Christopher Alden
SEMELE, Director: Isabel Milenski
WINTEREISSE, Director: Andreas Mitisek
HOPPER'S WIFE: Stewart Wallace (World Premiere), Director: Christopher Alden
THE RETURN OF ULYSSES, Director: Christopher Alden
LA VIE PARISIENNE, Director: Christopher Alden
DIE WEISSE ROSE: (West Coast Premiere, Director: Peter Reichenbach
LA RONDINE, Director: Hugo de Ana
ORFEO, Director: Christopher Alden

Maggio Musicale, Florence: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, Director: Richard Foreman

Malmo Opera, Sweden: LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, Directore: Stewart Laing

Metropolitan Opera Guild: ROMULUS HUNT:(World Premiere), Director: Francesca Zambello

New Israeli Opera:
FAUST, Director: David Alden
THE BARTERED BRIDE, Director: Michael McCaffery
SWEENEY TODD, Director: David Alden

New York City Opera:

MIDSUMMER MARRIAGE: Tippett (NY Premiere), Director: Francesca Zambello
THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA: Britten, Director: Christopher Alden

Opera Colorado: NORMA, Director: James Robinson

Opera Comique, Paris: DOCTEUR MIRACLE, DJAMILEH, DON PROCOPIO, Director: Christopher Alden

Opera de Lille, France: DON GIOVANNI, Director: Richard Foreman

Opera North, England: ARABELLA, Director: Francisco Negrin

Portland Opera :
NORMA, Director: James Robinson
TURANDOT, Director: Christopher Alden

Royal Opera of Denmark: ORPHEE, Director: Francisco Negrin

San Francisco Opera: HARVEY MILK, (West Coast Premiere), Director: Christopher Alden

Seattle Opera: DON GIOVANNI, Director: Christopher Alden

Scottish Opera:
TURANDOT, Director: Christopher Alden
MAGIC FLUTE, Director: Martin Duncan
FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE (Premiere), Director: Christopher Alden
LA BOHEME, Director: Stewart Laing

Welsh National Opera: TURANDOT, Director: Christopher Alden


Resident Designer 1983-1999 including -
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), The Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage,
Wexner Center for the Arts, The Joyce Theatre, The Kitchen, Walker Art Center, LACE,
Virginia Museum and Teatro Vascello, Rome.

LUCINDA CHILDS DANCE COMPANY: Cannes International Festival de Danse - premiere
BALLET HISPANICO: Jacob's Pillow, Mass.
CODANCECO: Prospect Park Bandshell
BALLETFORE: Riverside Dance Festival, 92nd St. YMHA
RACHEL LAMPERT: Portland Stage, Main
BERTRAM ROSS: Riverside Dance Festival


BETTY: The Bottom Line, New York


DV: Concert Lighting for a televised documentary on the life of Jose Feliciano, Puerto Rico by Banco Popular
Feature Film: QUEEN OF DIAMONDS Line Producer and Lighting Designer. LA Times Top Ten Ind. films of 1990, Director: Nina Menkes
Swiss Television: Adaptation of BILLY BUDD (Geneva Opera) for television
France 3: Adaptation of AIDA (Choregies d Orange) for television
Australian Broadcasting Commission: Adaptation of LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN (Australian Opera) for television
PBS New Television: IF I COULD FLY I WOULD FLY Dance/Videocollaboration w/ video artist Mary Lucier and Choreographer Elizabeth Streb
PBS Alive from off Center: MASS Dance/Video collaboration w/ Mary Lucier & Elizabeth Streb
TV Commercial: Daily News - HBO Studios
Print Ad: Canadian Club:People, Time, Vogue

Professional Experience:

1977-86 Assisted on over 40 Broadway (Plenty, Hay Fever, Slab Boys, The Golden Age, Snoopy, Foxfire, Copperfield, Nine) and Off Broadway shows (Extremities, The Nest of the Woodgrouse, Virginia, Monday after the Miracle, My Sister in this House) primarily with Arden Fingerhut (7 years). Also, Paulie Jenkins, F. Mitchell Dana, Roger Morgan, Ken Billington, Victor En Yu Tan and Richard Nelson, among others.


Cal State Long Beach: Theater Department: Guest Lecturer
Spring 2015
Theater Department: Visiting Associate Professor
Fall 2007 The Phenomenology of Light
Theatre Department: Visiting Instructor
Winter 2007 The Phenomenology of Light
California Institute of the Arts
: Faculty
Fall 2004-Spring 2006 Head of Lighting
Pennsylvania State University: Associate Professor
Fall 2002 -Spring 2004 Head MFA Lighting Program
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Deptartment of Design: Adjunct Faculty
Fall 2000 - 2002 Lighting Design III and Thesis advisor
Fall 1999 Visiting Artist Lecture
Spring 1999 Portfolio reviews
Fall 1997 Master Class (Gradaute level)
Design 4 - special project (Graduate Level)
Fall 1995 Visiting Artist Lecture
Bard College: Adjunct Faculty
Spring 2001 Visual Imagination for the Stage
Smith College: Faculty, Assistant Professor
Spring 2000 Lighting Design II
Light and Digital Design
Fall1999 Lighting Design I
Art of Design
Southern California Institute of Architecture: Faculty
Fall 1998 Light Action: The Intersection of Light, Art & Architecture
Spring 1998 The Phenomenology of Light"
UCSD, Theatre Department: Visiting Instructor
Fall 1998 Lighting Design (Graduate level)
California Institute of the Arts:
Fall 1998 Visiting Artist Lecture
Parson's School of Design, Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic: Visiting Instructor
Summer 1996 Lighting Design
University of Wisconsin, Madison: Visiting Instructor
Winter 1996 Master Class in Lighting Design
Ecole Superieure de Theatre National de Strasbourg, France: Visiting Instructor
Spring 1994 Master Class in Lighting Design for Set Designers
School of Visual Arts:
Fall 1995 Visiting Artist Lecture
Rutger's University:
Fall 1995 Visiting Artist Lecture


2010 City of Los Angeles, Dept of Cultural Affairs, Public Art Division, Artist Selection Panel, Reseda Pool Project
11/03 Lighting Dimensions International “ Lights of the Roundtable” – Group Panel
9/03 Parsons School of Design - “Light Action: The Intersection of Light, Art & Architecture”, Guest Lecturer
9/02 Carnegie Mellon University - Wats:on? Festival, Keynote speech
11/01 "Transatlantic Lighting" - Lighting Dimensions International
Panel with Ken Billington, Sarah Sidman, Paul Anderson, and Chris Parry
5/00 "Theatricality of Space" - Wesleyan University, Guest Speaker
Lecture series w/ Lo-Tek Architecture, digital artist Jeremy Blake, set designer
4/98 Art Crash Symposium - Aarhus, Denmark,
Light, New Technology in Art and The Collision between Art Forms, guest speaker
11/94 Lighting Dimensions International,
European Project Portfolio panel with Chris Parry, Marc Brickman, Rick Fisher
Using Alternative Light Sources, with Steven Poster, Eric Schwartzman, Charlie Davidson, Howard Eaton